America Visits Valparaiso on Maiden Transit
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Scorza, USS America Public Affairs
VALPARAISO, Chile (NNS) -- The future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) arrived to Valparaiso, Chile for a scheduled port visit, Aug. 24.

America is currently on its maiden transit, "America visits the Americas," testing the ship's capabilities and strengnthening partnerships within the 4th Fleet area of responsibility.

During the visit, Sailors and Marines assigned to USS America and Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) South will conduct bilateral exercises with the Chilean Navy, offer ship tours, host a reception for Chilean guests and distinguished officials, and participate in a local community relations project with a children's home in the area.

In addition, the ship's military and civilian crew will have the opportunity to experience the rich culture of this host nation and serve as goodwill ambassadors.

The ship has already completed port visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; transited the Strait of Magellan at the southernmost point of South America; and is scheduled to visit Peru before arriving to her San Diego homeport. During the transit, America has also conducted bilateral engagements with other valued partners in the area of responsibility such as Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.

America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tawara-class of amphibious assault ships. As the next generation "big-deck" amphibious ship, America is optimized for aviation, capable of supporting current and future aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter. The ship is scheduled to be commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. 4th Fleet and U.S. Marine Forces South support U.S. Southern Command's joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
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